Sunday, May 22, 2022

Ex-1MDB CFO denies name dropped from govt’s lawsuit to incriminate Najib

Azmi Tahir says he does not know why criminal charges were brought against others but not him.

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Former 1MDB chief financial officer Azmi Tahir told the Kuala Lumpur High Court today he disagreed that his name had been dropped from the government’s lawsuit in order for him to incriminate former prime minister Najib Razak in court.

Azmi, 49, agreed that those on the witness list that the prosecution planned to call for the trial appeared to have been removed from the list of defendants in 1MDB’s lawsuit later, while others such as former 1MBD CFO Radhi Mohamad were being sued.

He said this under cross-examination by Najib’s counsel Hariharan Tara Singh at the former prime minister’s trial for the misappropriation of RM2.3 billion in funds from 1MDB.

Hariharan: Now, do you agree that the people who are not called as witnesses, their names remain as defendants in the suit?

Azmi: It looks that way.

In August 2021, it was reported that 1MDB had dropped a civil action against Azmi and six other defendants.

The 12th prosecution witness also said he only read in the media that 1MDB had filed a suit against him and various individuals last year and that he was never served with a copy of the lawsuit.

He further said that there were no criminal charges levelled against him and that he did not know why he was not charged in relation to the financial scandal.

Hariharan: Despite you being the co-signatory and director of a subsidiary of 1MDB, you were in charge of raising funds, yet no charges were made against you?

Azmi: I do not know why there were no criminal charges against me.

Hariharan: There were criminal charges against your deputy Terence Geh, Jasmine Loo (1MDB’s lawyer) and Low Taek Jho, but as CFO you were not charged.

Azmi: Again, I don’t know why some people were not charged, my CEO was not charged, my board was also not charged, and why some people were charged but I was not charged.

To another question, Azmi agreed that he had never taken any direct instruction from Najib, 69, as the accused was not part of 1MDB’s management or its board of directors.

The Pekan MP is facing four charges of using his position to obtain bribes totalling RM2.3 billion in 1MDB funds and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

The trial before justice Collin Lawrence Sequerah continues.

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